[suhb-al-pahyn, -pin]
  1. pertaining to the regions at the foot of the Alps.
  2. Botany. growing on mountains below the limit of tree growth, and above the foothill, or montane, zone.

Origin of subalpine

First recorded in 1650–60; sub- + alpine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subalpine

Historical Examples of subalpine

  • John Muir expresses the belief that no other subalpine floral gardens excel Rainier's in profusion and gorgeousness.

    The Book of the National Parks

    Robert Sterling Yard

  • Among the trees are the quaking aspen, Douglas spruce, Engelmann spruce, and subalpine fir.

    Your National Parks

    Enos A. Mills

  • Another thousand feet and the Subalpine fir replaces its two near relatives.

  • They are found in most perfect condition in the subalpine region, at an elevation of from eight thousand to nine thousand feet.

    The Yosemite

    John Muir

  • Between the subalpine areas and the river valleys there are several large ancient burns which are partly reforested.

British Dictionary definitions for subalpine


  1. situated in or relating to the regions at the foot of mountains
  2. (of plants) growing below the treeline in mountainous regions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012